Ahhh, that awkward moment when you’re asked to write a blog about using satire and comedy in your content, and you have nothing funny or witty to open with. This should go over well… *Gulps*
You see, when you’ve been creating content for as long as we have at Weidert Group, there will eventually come a moment when you want to take a break from that “Always Be Converting” mindset and give your visitors something a little lighter and more fun. Especially in those “boring” industries where most articles are all business, all the time, it’s not always a bad thing to give prospects something they can enjoy without them feeling like you’re trying to convince them to buy something. Of course, you can still work in a promotional aspect to these blogs; you just have to be clever about how you go about doing it.
To help give you some ideas of how you can create more fun, unique content for your brand, here are some examples of companies using fun posts in boring industries:
Satire is one of the hardest tones in writing to master. It’s not always easy to tell when someone is being sarcastic online, and it’s also not always an appropriate tone to use on certain subjects. That being said, when commenting on current industry news and events, satire can help you make a strong statement about something without taking such a combative stance. With Call The Cops (a satire site for first responders), they understand the latest happenings and frustrations for firefighters, police officers, and EMS services, and they use satire to resonate with how their audience feels about a certain subject. For example, with fire departments responding to fewer and fewer fire emergencies these days and more medical emergencies, fire departments are designing their new trucks to include more storage space for non-fire equipment. As a result, some new trucks are being over-designed, with so many features and equipment that it actually hinders their ability to do any one task particularly well. In the end, Call The Cops was able to use satire to accomplish their mission: helping people realize the ridiculousness (and impossibility) of actually having a rig that’s not only capable of responding to fire emergencies but also features packed rescue compartments and serves double duty as an ambulance.
Given BuzzFeed’s rise in popularity over the past few years, list posts like the ones they’re known for have become a hot trend in the content marketing world. The concept is simple: think of a list of things your audience would be interested in, and use a bunch of pictures to make it more exciting than just a bulleted checklist. And while you’ll sometimes see list posts used with more of a sales-y tone than a fun one (e.g., 7 Technology Upgrades That Improve Fire Apparatus Operations and Outdated Practices), these are still a good way to get your point across in a concise, yet interesting manner. With Fisher Tank, they were able to showcase 10 awesome-looking water tanks (some even made by their competitors), simply to show their audience all the different possibilities of water tank design. They don’t outwardly pressure readers to use their services; rather, they use the list to plant a seed that will get prospects thinking about the different water tank possibilities and hopefully convince readers to use their services in the future.
Ready to get really creative? Try out some fictional storytelling! While this type of content isn’t always easy to pull off, it’s great for portraying a hypothetical scenario that your personas often find themselves in, which can help them see your message more clearly. In our post, we used Halloween to create a fun marketing “horror story” that addressed a few of our prospects’ fears and pain points, without taking the same old approach that dozens of other agencies have already done before.
While there are plenty of other ways to lighten up your content and make it more fun to read, the most important thing you can do is simply not take yourself so seriously all the time. Don’t be afraid to let your hair down every once in a while and give your audience a break from all the gung-ho marketing material you’ve been sending their way. We all know that too intensive sales pressure can be off-putting, so make sure you remember to inject a little fun every now and then.
Posted by Alex Sobal Alex has exceptional writing skills and the ability to learn new industries and their complex processes. While at Weidert Group, he was also an avid social media marketer and wrote frequently on online community engagement and content creation strategies for our blog.